Leaf insect

Leaf insect

Dry leaf insect, in the scientific world classified as Extatosoma tiaratum, instead it is commonly called "Macleay's Ghost", in the original language "Macleay's specter". Leaf… Ghost… let's see what it is, what it looks like and what relationship it can have with us and with our plants.

Dry leaf insect

This pet is a Phasmid of medium / large size, it is brown both if female and male and the shades of this color vary from subject to subject, beyond sex, always tending to light.

The dry leaf insect has this name because of its keratin growths no doubt details, that sprout from the body and legs and that make it similar, without requiring too many flights of fancy, to a dry leaf of those on the ground in autumn.

It is not an artistic question but a defense affair: the leaf insect hides itself among other dry, real leaves and potential predators do not see it. The mimicry of the leaf insect is particularly refined because this little animal even has gods oscillating movements that make it look like dry leaves moved by the wind.

Green leaf insect

L'leaf insect it is not green but brown, also because it wants to look like dry leaves which are not green. It is true that when they are little they are not brown, but not even green: they are black with a red head, just born. Before they are born they are eggs and the eggs of the leaf insect they are dropped to the ground, rather than actually laid, or literally thrown away from the tree - house.

Giant leaf insect

The giant among these insects is the female, actually much larger than her mate. There is an evident sexual dimorphism: if the female has a length that can exceed 15-18 cm, the male reaches 10 cm in length with difficulty.

Leaf insect: breeding

To breed the leaf insect you need to equip yourself, you can't put it in the house as it is. Let's take a display case, at least 50 x 30 x 30cm, well ventilated therefore with at least 2 sides made of mesh. The color of the case should not be chosen at random because it even manages to influence the color of the insect.

Here is one of the rare cases in which perhaps it is possible to get the leaf insect to take on a greenish color, covering the walls of the case of lichen or other material of similar color. Very important is also the temperature, to be kept around 24-28 ° C, never below 20 ° not even at night, moreover it is necessary to make sure that there is a correct humidity by nebulizing the case every other day with distilled water.

Leaf insect: price

Originally from Australia, this insect over there can be found among the branches of its host plants but it is also possible to buy it: 30 dry leaf insect eggs parthenogenetics are sold for 5 euros, 80 eggs for 10 euros.

Once the eggs are fertilized, they will hatch in a maximum of 6 months incubated at a temperature of about 25 ° C and with a humidity of 60%, but if not fertilized, the waiting time is extended up to 10 months. A leaf insect is an adult after 5 months and lives another 10-11 months eating the leaves of the plants on which it lives, eucalyptus or bramble leaves, pink, Oak tree, hazel and Ficus benjamin.

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